Out of Control Policy Blog

Sanford Forced to Accept Stimulus Money

SanfordThe South Carolina Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Governor Mark Sanford could not reject Federal stimulus money targeted for education. The ruling, though over shadowed by the President's speech in Egypt and the death of David Carradine, is a landmark decision on a number of fronts. The Court ruled "the Governor certainly has no discretion to make a contradictory decision on behalf of the State" and "He has no discretion concerning the appropriation of funds." This raises questions regarding federal authority over states and makes a significant statement about the power of the executive branch in South Carolina. 

Governor Sanford wanted to reject the funds because, on a macro level, he believes the spending increasing national debt will devalue the dollar and hurt the national economy. On a local level, he did not want to increase state spending at time when they should be cutting back. The one time provision of $700 million will need to be funded by the following budget or be slashed then, setting up a future budgeting battle. 

Essentially, this unanimous ruling from the SC Supreme Court requires fiscal irresponsibility on behalf of the state, particularly since the state legislature has already passed a budget that counts on the money for education. Gov. Sanford had asked the legislature to make equalizing cuts elsewhere in the budget to accommodate the $700 million, but they refused to do so.

More from Reason on the Stimulus and its fall out here.

Anthony Randazzo is Director of Economic Research

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Comments to "Sanford Forced to Accept Stimulus Money":

Rob Davies | June 5, 2009, 5:55pm | #

It is stunning to me how easily politicians (and now, State Supreme Court justices) can be dazzled by money, even as its arrival puts their entire country deeper and deeper into peril. The S.C. Legislature’s greed and whore-like behavior is at least predictable because they’re clearly betting the farm on re-election as a product of showering their constituents with big Pork funding (conveniently forgetting all this money has to go back to Emperor Barack one day, naturally). That the entire Supreme Court of South Carolina, once the definitive and proud expression of unyielding states’ rights has fallen in with the scum from D.C. is beyond reprehensible and appalling.

LukeS | June 9, 2009, 12:51am | #

We do appreciate the effort of the government to lessen the impact of the world financial crisis. The typical remedies were economic stimulus package, bail out fund and increase in tax rate. We are still under recession, we are always on the look out to bring back the normal condition of the economy to avoid being trap with various financial problem. The recession makes a single salary home a liability, and job cuts make it impossible to pay bills. With the unemployment rates still rising, more people are unable to get installment loans. Even an industry giant like Chrysler can fall, as they have yet to re-emerge from bankruptcy. Hopefully the stimulus package, which cost more than a pretty penny, will be able to restimulate growth and job creation, and bring a little debt relief to the single salary home. We are still optimistic that the collaborate effort of the government will give a positive sign for financial stabilization

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